Monday, February 14, 2011

That smile...

...that smile melts me on a daily basis...
and he loves me...Oooh, how he loves me...
Happy Valentines Day to my sweetheart!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


So, my daughter is asleep on the couch after a long night of a high fever and trying to fight through the "Sickies" and continue to play today as she wore her dress up clothes and colored Cinderella, made the fairies fly, read her stories, wore her dress-up heels...trying so hard not to be sick. Now, the "Sickies" have won and she's asleep on the it is my time to watch her sleep, reflect, pray, write...and share.

You may recall not long ago, I shared with you an incredible book that I read..."One Thousand Gifts"...that has had such a profound impact on my life...actually on my living. The book, with an emphasis on gratitude, is profoundly rich and on page 44 of her book, the auther, Ann Voskamp quotes from Jean Pierre de Caussade,

"When one is thirsty one quenches ones thirst by drinking,
not by reading books which treat of this condition."

Angie Smith also reflects on this statement on her blog Bloom-(in)courage this week.

With this insightful statement in mind, I dare say...Okay, my dear friends and is time! It is the definite stop wanting to be what we are not. To be what we so be what we know God has planted deep within us. To be be be in the moments of our have experience this life with others around us in pain and stop reading books about how to quench our thirst...and drink from the well! I don't ever want to be guilty of reading about what I should be, planning to be what I want to be or need to be at a later time...I want to BE!!! And, it is so much MORE...yes, more. There is more...more to be experienced, more to hear, more to know, more to be thankful for...more to express heartfelt gratitude for...more to experience with those closest to us.

I will continue to read...Oh, how I love to read..God's Word, other's interpretations of that Word, stories of life...but, then I will write my own in the living.

I don't want to read about:
-how to be a friend...I will be a great friend to the awesome friends I already have.

-how to be happy...I will live daily in contentment, joy and peace.

-how to be successful...I will be all God has called me to be in each moment.

-how to be a great communicator...I will listen better tomorrow than I did today.

-how to be a great mom...I will spend TONS of time with my kids.

-how to be a superb wife...I will love my husband more...serve him more.

-how to be a good employee...I will work as unto the Lord.

-how to study God's Word...I will study it, memorize it, live it.

-how to run an effective household...I will do the best I can, and let the rest go.

-how to make my dreams come true...I will live gratitude moment by moment and realize that I couldn't dream a life as incredible as God has given me.

-how to plan for my future...I will follow God's incredible journey for me...take risks as He leads, be still as He is silent.

-how to enjoy my life...I will have joy unspeakable...laugh at tomorrow...haveItalic fun!

-how to worry less...I will worry less, trust more...
and on...and on...and on...and on...

So, what are you thoughts...what are you planning to be
"...when things are better,"
"...when my situation straightens up,"
"...when my kids are grown,"
"...when I retire,"
"...when I have more money or less stress"
"...when I graduate"

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Keep calm and...

I've been gone...too long, you see. It's been a long time since I poured out my heart...shared my blog-best. But, you see...things have been has been moving, God has been speaking, our family has been through alot. I wanted to share, you see. But, something went wrong...hampered the process...stopped this blogger cold. My laptop crashed (checked out, conked, croaked, expired, flatlined, perished, succombed). Whichever you left us.

And, there was only one thing left to do...
I will tell you, though, that today, as the day progressed, and it appeared that a new laptop may be in our future, my little heart smiled a quick smile. We are proudly an officially 'techie' family and have been for quite some time. And, I'm ok with that. I think.

So, I'm back...and here's a quick low-down...Christmas was awesome (computer went down two weeks prior, so after a few home decor pics, it was downhill from there), snow has about done us in this winter, Isaac continues to participate in gym meets frequently that we travel to (today's was in Gallipolis, OH and he did great!), Abby is gearing up for an exciting ballet/tap/jazz show in the spring (Alice in Wonderland), Jonah is becoming a swimming FOOL at his private lessons at the local college, Mike continues to take classes online at Liberty, we had to replace 6 tires out of 8 recently -one of which ruptured with all 5 of us in the car - and two car batteries all within two weeks - (BAD!), school is going great for the kids, and Abby turned "5 whoppin' years old" in January. It is also very noteworthy that we have been through some very saddening, tough times with some very special friends this past month, and continue to travel difficult roads with them as time moves forward.

Now, since I didn't get to do my annual New Years anticipation post...just a quick run-down of what we are looking toward the next few months...Isaac continues to have tumbling meets working toward the state meet this spring, Abby's ballet in June, Jonah's last semester of private swimming lessons, VBS, Children's Bible Camp at Ridgecrest this spring with Mike at the helm, possible horseback riding lessons for Abby, studying the book of Hosea in Sunday School this month, new reads, camping trips...maybe the beach???? My plans...yes. God's plans...maybe not.

But, tonight, I'm just settling in with my new laptop after rolling my daughter's hair in her new spongerollers, listening to the Food Network in the background, propping my feet up and getting ready to study my Sunday School lesson for tomorrow.

Above all...on my mind...thankful for God's mercies today, thankful for great friends, thankful for my precious family, thankful for another day...thankful for a Savior.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dare...double dare.

I just finished one of the most profound reads of my life. Thought-provoking, heart-wrenching...exhausting at times, refreshing at many others. Exhaustingly refreshing perhaps? Is that possible? This book is not for the faint of heart.
I dare you.
One Thousand Gifts... It has changed me.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas 2010

Snowflake Band Black Christmas
Make a statement with custom Christmas cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Take your shoes off and come on it!

Shew...I've got a started this morning when I was walking across the parking lot at work...started sneezing, and have sneezed all day. Now, the mild congestion has set in. So, tonight, Abby and I stayed in to rest and relax while Daddy and the boys went to Jonah's swimming lessons and to the area Annual ChristmaSing held at our church (which we hated terribly to is always so great!) While I was taking cold medicine and resting on the couch snuggled with my tissue box, it was precious to watch Abby playing with her dolls...she will be a great mom someday, I am sure!
Looks like she might want a big family...hehehe...
Since I wasn't up to doing hard-core projects tonight, I thought I would share a BUNCH of "around the house" photos with you tonight to catch you up to speed. We have been excitedly participating with the Blankets of Love Missions Project being led by the Children's Ministry of our church. So, these are some of the blankets/throws that we have been collecting from others to add. These will be given to local families through our church's Christmas Food Box ministry in a couple of weeks...we are praying over each one, that God will allow our love for them to impact the ones that are wrapped in the blanket. The children in our church are handling each one with tender care as they fold, wrap them in beautiful ribbon and place hand-made cards inside.
Moving around the house, the boys got a little carried away when decorating their Christmas tree in their room with Daddy and Papaw recently, so now we have lights strung everywhere! They love it and it is quite festive, I must admit!

These are the newest addition to the Bell boys' Christmas ornament collection - Star Wars! They have recently become quite intrigued with the Sci-Fi phenomenon and so, I surprised them with new ornaments from Hallmark this week and they were ecstatic...

Another Star Wars "guy" - I'd hate to meet him on the holler!

This ornament is on the boys tree - it was their daddy's when he was a youngster...he was also a drummer in the high school band, so that makes it a little more special!

An old favorite still "hangin" around - Spider Man.

By far, one of the ultimate favies - Lightning McQueen.

And, without a doubt, the Christ child - front, top and center for all to see!
Oh, How I love Jesus, Oh, How I love Jesus...Ooooh, How I love Jesus,
Because He first Loved Me!
Abby squealled when I showed her the surprise Princess and the Frog Hallmark ornament I got her...sheer delight from her 4 year old heart.
Abby's homemade Handprint Family of my favorites, of course! So special!
Doesn't every budding ballerina have to have a Barbie ballerina ornament?
Abby placed her "Baby Jesus in the Manger" smack dab in the center of the tree!
The completed "feather-boa'd, beaded, pink-santa-hatted, ornamented" mess!
School Picture Ornament of Isaac 9 years old, 4th grade
School picture ornament of Jonah, 8.5 years old, 3rd grade
Preschool picture ornament - ballet picture, 4 years old.
The antique rockin' chair that was Michael's great-grandmother's...filled with Christmas pillows.
My new tablecloth...and yes, it comes with a story. I ordered it and the placemats from a local primitive specialty store that I frequent because I just thought they would complement my home so nicely through the holidays. I asked the cost of the placements - very reasonable! And, I was in sort of a hurry. The store owner said, "Do you want to know the cost of the tablecloth before you leave?" [Can you tell where this is going?] I said, "Nah, just go ahead and order it...Just call me when it comes in." Well, she called the house about a week later and Mike happened to be home. He gladly picked it up for me...and when I got home he politely let me know that he really liked the tablecloth and placemats but didn't know they were THAT much!! I won't reveal here how much it was, but...yes...I learned my lesson! ALWAYS ask the price. AND, I love my tablecloth and placemats so much that I plan to use them until the kids go to college:)
Lovely, huh? Matches my primitive decor!!!
My favorite Christmas photo...look real close and see if you can guess who Santa was!!! I'll never tell, but I think the eyes give it away. The "Guest Santa" agreed very politely to donn the suit as a volunteer at the local nursing home a couple of years ago. The children new immediately it was "the special someone" and it was ALL I could do to keep them from telling everyone there and ruining their SANTA VISIT!
Special ornament bought by us to commemorate the HomeGoing of our biological son, Michael Andrew Bell, 1999.
Special ornament to remind us that our daughter Allison and son Andrew are together with the Lord! What peace and joy!
My cute litte primitive gingerbread men.
I love this whimsical snowman - he makes me smile...wonder if he's related to Pinocchio?
My sweet family...(Abby's name is covered by evergreen)
A special gift from a friend.
Happy Campers...reminds us not to get discouraged, spring is right around the corner!
Our First Christmas together, 1997
The wooden star... we use it to teach our children about the star ... and how it eventually led to the wooden cross, where Jesus would eventually die for our sins...the Birth to Death to Life story of the Saviour...
Primitive fabric candy sweet
Front and center!
One of my newest ornaments - we bought it during our Christmas DisneyWorld vacation last year.
So, there's my tree...and if you look real closely, you can see that I even made the homemade rag garland. I love it's coziness and warmth...rustic bells, wooden ornaments, small quilted pillows, barns stars, stockin's and so much more make it suit the Bell family just fine.
Thought I'd also share this jewel with you as well...LOVE this little flameless has a timer on it and it comes on every evening at dusk and goes off after we go to bed. The flicker in the evenings is so fun and we don't have to wonder if the kids are going to get burned by a candle. The ambience is nice and although the technology is nice, it still reflects the ole' warmth that I love when I am home.

Well, thanks for sharing in my holiday home review! I pray that your Christmas celebration is memorable, reflects Christ's birth with reverence and intention and brings a little nostalgia of days gone by!